NFR Sampling satisfaction with life with the Farmer Wave

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Paul Huffman, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. For quite a while, I've been waving at nearly everyone I meet while driving. It's not that I am trying to spread joy in the world because my behavior seems to cause more consternation than joy. It's more that I am interested in sampling the attitude of the region through which I am driving. I'm hoping for a wave back.

    I just give a little farmer wave--three or four fingers flick up on the hand on the top of the wheel. Sometimes when I can't get any waves back, I try both hands.

    Something about cars suppresses waving behavior. Perhaps cars diminish our regard for the Other. Notice how if one or both parties were in boats, everyone would be waving like idiots.

    I imagine conversations in the cars as they recede in my rear view mirror. "Ok, Debbie, who the hell was that?" "Was that one of those gang members, marking us for death? Was I supposed to flash my high beams? No, it's 'Don't flash your high beams'" "Looks like Bill got himself a new truck."

    Maybe the young women are thinking "Sexual harassment!" Maybe some of the men are thinking that too.

    In the morning, along Powerhouse Road in Yakima, no one ever waves back. These people are on their groggy morning commute. Reaction time too slow. On 97 over Satus Pass, no one ever returns a wave, but the closure rates at 70 mph are too high. On separated highways like I-84 through the Columbia Gorge, the on coming traffic is too far away to expect much notice. But I'm surprised how few wave backs I get on 821 through the Yakima Canyon. Maybe these drivers are all either looking at the hills for bighorns or looking at the water. Maybe they are all from out of town. Makes me feel as popular as a telemarketer sometimes.

    On highway 142 along the Klickitat, I've done a little better. I was whooping it up, honking the horn, when on one trip from Klickitat to Lyle this September, I got a return wave from the last possible car, giving me a response rate of 6 out of 12!

    But on the Goldendale to Glenwood road, not so good. Lots of out-of-towners during the fishing season, I guess.

    By far, the friendliest road that I have data on is 206 between Wasco and Condon. There's not a lot of traffic but some days I can get a 80% or higher response rate. Last time I drove it, some old boy in a big Dodge pickup beat me to the wave! These are the friendliest people in the country. Maybe I should move there.

    Next time you're driving along a river, and someone flashes a wave at you, give me a wave back.
  2. Oh! That was you! The weirdo! Now I get it.

    Just kidding; fun and funny human interest story. Interesting how behaviors that used to be considered neighborly are now sometimes perceived as threatening or harassing.
  3. Folks still wave on the rural roads of NE Oregon where I grew up. Most likely, the more remote the road, the more likely you'll get a wave. This holds true on river roads in NEO.

    Motorcycle riders still wave at each other... unless you're riding the "wrong motorcycle". At one point I sold motorcycles and never thought I'd see the day of motorcycle snobs, but it has arrived.

    I can think of one river road on this side of Oregon where anglers still wave.... most likely because the logging road is the logging road from hell and only the bravest... and evidently most friendly... anglers travel the road.
  4. You'd be at home in Montana. Just about everybody waves at each other. But it is only on the back roads. Hell any road the is off the main roads is a gravel/dirt road. And some of them are lonely also. Some times you don't see another person in an hour or two.
  5. Moses Lake is a wave place.
  6. Sorry for not waving over Satus, I'm usually too busy trying to pass the asshole at the head of the 13 car que that refuses to just fuck off out of the way, to bother with eyeballing the guy in the opposite lane.

    and FWIW I'm a back road/slow road waver too, though if I had to put a MPH to it, I pay attention below 25-30. Grew up rural, and it's still in me.
    Alex MacDonald and Gary Knowels like this.
  7. About a month ago I was traveling with a fishing buddy who waves at every on coming driver. He waved at a county sheriff car who turned around and stopped us to see what we wanted. Go figure...
  8. Sounds a bit like something the late Andy Rooney would have approached on 60 Minutes. Perhaps there's something there that you should pursue.:)
    Kent Lufkin likes this.
  9. I'm in rural southern Idaho for the holiday and EVERYBODY here does the finger wave when you pass them. Some 3 or 4 fingers. Some just the 1.

    Steve Call likes this.
  10. I find a much better success rate with a smile than a wave but it is possible that they were smiling already where as it is much less likely that folks are randomly waving. As a social scientist though I like to manipulate my results so I tend to conduct experiments with greater chances of positive or negative dependingly results.
  11. Which wave exactly are you extending...:)
  12. I find smaller, rural roads, I get way more waves. NE Oregon, SE WA are pretty good about acknowledging passing traffic.
  13. Great post:) I grew up on the peninsula and if you were driving gravel, you waved. Cheap roadside insurance in case you got stuck later in the day.

    I then moved to Ellensburg and found the same, Gravel = wave

    On Whidbey it is pretty much the same. Gravel or if there is snow on the ground, i find myself waving below 30 mph

    Women don't seem to participate, regardless of how primative the road. (unless pulling a horse trailer)

  14. Amazing how that little wave works. I held the door open for a guy at the local Big R farm store and the next day as I was asking permission to get on a piece of land to hunt I heard, "you're the guy who held the door open for me yesterday." A wave and a little courtesy works pretty good.
  15. Yep almost lost my wave habits for a few years. last spring I went back to eastern oregon where I loved traveling to and working around - Idaho - wyoming - utah and many western states. first day I was slow to the wave being used to big city finger waving for the last 5 to 8 years. took me a day to catch up with the farm folk and just plain good humanity towards fellow humans. seems it's so far removed from the big city. One of the many things I love about eastern Oregon! good thread !!!
    Jim Wallace and Ron McNeal like this.
  16. I always wave on Rock Creek Road, and during the good fishing season I get a lot more waves back. Lately there's a bunch of assholes up the crick. I even got yelled at for parking near someone last week (parking spots were scarce with the fresh snow I didn't feel like getting my VW stuck, you jerkoff!). I've come to think that it actually is the damned Californians waving back during the summer.
  17. Over ywenty years ago I was hunting elk in Montana, one day I was out with the outfitter and I noticed he waved to everyone that passed. The idea of waving at everyone intrigued me and we started talking about it.He then told a story that he was visiting his grand daughter in San Deigo and while he was slowly driving on the freeway he commented that San Deigo was just like Montana that everyone waved that passed, he said his granddaughter responded "granddad they are flipping you off for driving so slow". Well the idea of waving to everyone intrigued me so when I returned home I started waving to everyone I saw as I traveled from my house to the freeway, about 5 miles, but I include everyone even if they are walking or standing in their yard. It was funny at first because you got some very startled reactions, and looks like do I know you. Well I have been doing it for about twenty years on my road and now other drivers beat me to the "wave".
  18. It's the standard here......if I'm spacing out thinking about work my neighbors will let me know!
    Jim Wallace and Mark Kraniger like this.
  19. Here in Nebraska on the rural gravel roads a finger wave is almost always returned. One, two or three fingers is accepted. If you raise your hand off the steering wheel that means you want them to stop and talk.
  20. I lived on Lopez Is. for many years and everyone there waves while driving. One of the ways you could tell a local from a tourist.

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